The gap between the household and payroll surveys, the weird collape in dentist productivity, and more.
Regarding dentists - I know my dentist re-hired all his staff by fall last year (after his PPE loan came through). But they still aren't seeing their old load of patients. Wonder how many folks haven't gone to the dentists because they've been laid off and no longer have dental coverage. But PPE loans allowed dentist offices to keep staff on.
"No good explanation...." re dentists. Many dental costs covered by employer paid insurance. Therefore less coverage. Therefore only go to dentist for cheap procedures e.g. cleaning. Postpone big stuff like crowns, periodontal work. Equals less NIPA spending. And lower productivity. Bit of a WAG.
Think divergence b/w employment and spending in restaurants is due to many restaurants moving more to take-out service during pandemic (which requires fewer employees). As you mentioned, restaurants typically don't count delivery people as employees and anecdotally whenever I go into a restaurant to pick up food there are only a few employees working to co-ordinate pick-ups (presumably the same number of chefs/cooks though) despite potentially serving/producing just as much food as they normally would (pre-COVID).